Partisans Imagines Master Plan for the Next Generation Community in a Small Town in Canada

The Orbit illustrates Partisans’ vision for a cutting-edge community where small town and rural lifestyles are enhanced by the benefits and attributes of urban living. The award-winning Toronto-based architecture studio imagined a new urban fabric that inspires citizens.

Courtesy of PARTISANS

With a strategic vision, and a concept inspired by an orbit and ripple, recognizing the context and character of Innisfil, the architects imagined a center that “will gravitate and grow around a new regional transit link and cultural center slated to be built over the next four years”. The Next Generation Community located 60 km North of Canada’s largest city, Toronto, embraces its agricultural roots with 21st-century city building and architectural thinking, as an extension in the tradition of the garden city. Entitled The Orbit, the master plan can absorb over 40 million square feet of built areas. The project is a collaboration between architects, municipal leaders, community builders, and developers.

Courtesy of PARTISANS

The public realm is at the forefront with housing density & affordability, mobility, transit, arts, culture, technology, connectivity, business, digital innovation, economy, healthcare, social cohesion & infrastructure, sustainability, agriculture, open spaces, access to trails & waterfront and walkability, which are all part of this rural re-imagination. -- Partisans

Courtesy of PARTISANS

With major notions on board, the Orbit embraces innovation. It will feature a fast, secure fiber-optic network woven throughout the community’s sidewalks, streets, buildings and more, designed to support innovation from local community members and entrepreneurs while being governed by the appropriate privacy protection policies. Moreover, the design, based on an advanced series of concentric “squircles” - where squares and circles merge- melts with the existing grid of the area. In fact, the architects state that it is a “modern version of an old European city layout […] that depends on everyone living closer […] offering the world’s first example for how to build such a community”.

Courtesy of PARTISANS

The Orbit means great architecture. It’s where architecture and design push the envelope towards an artful yet sustainable city of the future. The Orbit is a clean slate to reimagine how a community of tomorrow is built today. Mobility, transit links, innovative streets and infrastructure, streetscapes, social interaction, health and wellness, a digital and connected community with a vibrant and robust modern economy based on critical thinking, technology, new tech agriculture, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, combined with a vibrant “startup” energy and culture all shape the Orbit towards the future of placemaking and city building. -- Partisans

Courtesy of PARTISANS

The project will expand to host 150,000 people, creating a dynamic center of activity for visitors and residents alike. One of the main points of the master plan is eliminating the need to leave the district. A full suite of community amenities, offerings, and areas, including a school with an attached daycare, office spaces designed for local entrepreneurs and traditional and non-traditional industries, year-round sports and recreational options, arts and culture spaces and more, will be available within the walkable distance. Finally, “the Orbit is a response to that need as well as the reality that people have a real desire to live in communities that provide access to major economic centers while offering the peace of a rural context”.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Partisans Imagines Master Plan for the Next Generation Community in a Small Town in Canada" 16 Dec 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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